Florida Bar Advertising Rules on Web Site Advertising – Possible Solutions to Help your Law Firm Site

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Update:  The Florida Bar has released new advertising rules.  Please visit our blog posts on the subject here:

UPDATE (January 1, 2010): Florida Bar Rules – New Guidelines for Law Firm Websites

UPDATE (December 24, 2010):”  Good news, as you may know by now, the Bar has a moratorium on the advertising rules. You can read the full opinion here.

The committee acted at the request of Ft. Lauderdale lawyer Peter T. Boyd, who owns PaperStreet Web Design, a company that designs Web sites for other lawyers. Boyd asked the committee whether parts of lawyers’ Web sites could be made “information upon request” through the use of a disclaimer page.

The committee said lawyers could set up the section of their Web sites dealing with information on request as a disclaimer page, a pop-up, or any other technological mechanism. Which option would be up to each individual law firms as long as the guidelines were followed and no information could be found without viewing the disclaimer page and making an affirmative acknowledgement of receipt of the information.

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As you may know by now, the Florida Bar has required that all law firm web sites comply with the advertising regulations of the Florida Bar. This means that if you practice in Florida, your web site can no longer:

1. Have testimonials.

2. Have past results.

3. Have laudatory statements.

You can see more detailed information and our thoughts on this post. We were thinking of new solutions for our clients this week and are proposing a few to see if they will pass with the Florida Bar.

1.” Disclaimer Page.
Create a page before any testimonials/past results, that would require the user to click on a disclaimer. They could only view the text if they actively click on the disclaimer.

2.” Disclaimer + Contact Form Page.
This would be the same idea as a disclaimer page first, but also allow the firm to capture important contact information. This would help them create a list of potential leads, but also prove that people in fact clicked on the disclaimer.

3. Pop-Up Overlay with Disclaimer and/or Contact Form
A new technology that we have been using lately is a pop-up overlay. Using javascript the pop-up screen comes online at any interval you set, including on page load. We use this at a 5 to 10 second interval to prompt people to contact us on our web site. This technology could be added to any existing page easily, which is great if you have to modify an existing site. Moreover, the overlay can be full-screen or any size you dictate. Thus, allowing you to completely block only the testimonials area or web site text area. Nice!

Anyways, we are prompting the Florida Bar for a ruling and will let you know the results when they are available.

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